|USS Gudgeon in July 1941 (U.S. Navy)|
While about 240 miles west of Midway Island, USS Gudgeon, commanded by Lt. Cmdr. (later Vice Admiral) Elton Grenfell, received a message advising him that three Japanese submarines would be passing through the area that Gudgeon was transiting during its return to Pearl Harbor.
|A Japanese Type KD6 submarine like I-73 (from CombinedFleet.com)|
* Post-attack analysis by the ComSubPac staff at Pearl Harbor indicated that Gudgeon’s unreliable Mark 14 torpedoes might have been duds. The theory holds that the I-73's crew spotted the wakes of the incoming torpedoes, panicked and dove with either their main induction valve or a hatch open, never to resurface.
Gudgeon conducted ten more successful war patrols, but was lost on her twelfth war patrol. Gudgeon was officially declared overdue and presumed lost on 7 June, 1944. Captured Japanese records shed no light on the manner of her loss, and it must remain one of the mysteries of the silent sea. It is believed Gudgeon was lost to an aerial attack 166 miles southeast of Iwo Jima on April 18, 1944.
During her three-year war career, Gudgeon sank 14 ships totaling over 71,372 tons, placing her 15th on the honor roll of American submarines. For her first seven war patrols Gudgeon received the Presidential Unit Citation and she earned 11 battle stars for World War II service.